Andrus Purde, Co-Founder and CEO of Outfunnel, an integration platform, discusses the importance of sharing data between marketing and sales teams and the challenges businesses face when their tools don’t communicate effectively.

About Outfunnel

Outfunnel is an integration platform that makes it easy to connect sales and marketing tools, keep customer data in sync across the MarTech stack, and record all marketing engagement in the CRM.

About Andrus Purde

Andrus Purde is Co-Founder, CEO and ‘recovering marketer’ at Outfunnel. Andrus founded the integration platform in 2017 following a career in marketing, including positions at Pipedrive and Skype.

 

Time Stamps

[00:01:0] – Andrus introduces himself and talks about his marketing career before starting Outfunnel.

[00:03:2] – Andrus discusses Estonia as a great place for startups and the benefits of being based there.

[00:06:0] – Importance of Two-Way Data Sync: Andrus explains the significance of syncing data both ways between CRM and marketing tools.

[00:10:3] – Andrus talks about the popular integrations and connections made using Outfunnel.

[00:14:0] – Andrus discusses the strategies used to promote Outfunnel.

[00:18:3] – Andrus shares the best marketing advice he has received.

[00:21:4] – Andrus’s contact details.

Quotes

“Some companies operate years, or forever, with data in isolation… marketers and salespeople who are doing the work… they shouldn’t worry about how the tools have been sourced in their company. They should just have access to the data.” Andrus Purde, Co-Founder and CEO at Outfunnel

Follow Andrus:

Andrus Purde on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andruspurde/

Outfunnel website: https://outfunnel.com/

Outfunnel on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/outfunnel/

Follow Mike:

Mike Maynard on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemaynard/

Napier website: https://www.napierb2b.com/

Napier LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/napier-partnership-limited/

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Want more? Check out Napier’s other podcast – The Marketing Automation Moment: https://podcasts.apple.com/ua/podcast/the-marketing-automation-moment-podcast/id1659211547

Transcript: Interview with Andrus Purde – Outfunnel

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Andrus Purde

Mike: Thanks for listening to Marketing B2B Tech, the podcast from Napier where you can find out what really works in B2B marketing today.

Welcome to Marketing B2B Technology, the podcast from Napier. I’m Mike Maynard and today I’m talking to Andrus Purde. Andrus is the Co-Founder and CEO of Outfunnel. Welcome to the podcast.

Andrus: Hey Mike, thank you for having me. I think as to my title, I think I can also call myself a recovering marketer. I’ve been in marketing all my life before co-founding and leading Outfunnel, and I think it’s something I will never get out of whether I want to or not.

Mike: That’s an interesting position, recovering marketer. I mean, maybe just to start off, you could give us a little bit of background about your marketing career and what you did before you started Outfunnel.

Andrus: So I was in non-tech, traditional marketing before in my early career. I worked at the newspaper, fast food and consumer goods consulting. And then at some point I realized I’m doing the same job over and over again until the baby grass is greener on this other side, which is technology, which had started to take off already. And so I joined Sky pretty early and then worked in product marketing at Sky here in Tallinn, where I’m from, and also in London. Then got involved with a more unknown startup called Pipetribe back when they were getting started and spent seven years there as a first marketer and then first head of marketing. And then co-founded Aftelet and I’ve been working on it for more than six years now.

Mike: That’s fantastic. And I’ll talk about out front in a second. But you mentioned you’re based in Estonia. You know, how’s that as a place to base a startup? Is it a great place with a good startup scene? Or do you wish you’d gone to Silicon Valley?

Andrus: It’s a great place for building a company because the weather is usually so bad that you’re inclined to stay indoors and work on your startup. Also, I think the startup scene here, the technology scene here is pretty good now. 15 years ago, I would have had to move to either Valley or maybe Boston or London, or depending on what the company was doing. But right now, I think you can, especially after COVID and all this remote thing, you can work everywhere. And the startup scene, both in terms of A company started and tech talent and investments in Estonia is very good. I think we are probably the best or the top of the list in Europe, if not the world.

Mike: That’s fantastic and it’s very positive to hear that in Europe there are these startup hubs that are really growing and developing and clearly Estonia is one of them.

Andrus: Yeah, it’s all related to the weather.

Mike: I think by that logic, the British should also be amazing at startups as well, because we’ve not had great weather.

Andrus: I think the British summers can be pretty long and pretty warm. So if you ever want to complain about the weather, come up north, come to Estonia, and let’s check out our winters.

Mike: I’ll definitely do that at some point. It’s one of the countries I’ve wanted to visit and never been to. So I will definitely come and see you.

Anyway, Andrus, going back to Outfunnel, you know, you’re working with Pipedrive. I think if anyone’s in a small business, in a marketing or sales function, they’d absolutely know Pipedrive. Maybe some of our enterprise listeners might not be so familiar. But you’re working there, and then you decided that you wanted to go and start Outfunnel. So what drove you to want to create Outfunnel, and what problem was it solving?

Andrus: So I think two answers to that. First answer is boredom. So I had been a tech marketer for quite a while, and I had this itch of perhaps wanting to try something on my own, to break out of this marketer job title and be an entrepreneur. And second is that working with Pipetribe customers, and I think a good marketer has to work closely with customers. I noticed that the companies, small businesses were loving the sales software that we were offering, but they were finding it hard to connect marketing tools and the workflows to Pipetribe. And then my wish to try something else, and then the need which I saw exist in the market emerged into a project first like a research project and then a small minimal viable product and then a company around it.

Mike: That’s fantastic and I don’t think that it’s users of pipe drive that are alone in the problem of syncing marketing and sales data. I mean why do you think it’s such a problem to get that data together?

Andrus: Because they usually exist in different tools, at least for many non-enterprise customers, even maybe for enterprise customers if you look at the size of the data-syncing market. Usually driving revenue happens in collaboration between the sales team and the marketing team. And sometimes there’s a chief revenue officer who’s leading it, but oftentimes there’s a sales leader, the marketing leader, and they want to do what’s best for their team because that’s the best thing usually for the company. And they pick their stack, their tools. And if a sales director or sales VP picks something like HubSpot as their CRM and the marketing VP pick something like ImageImp as their main tool, then these tools don’t talk to each other natively. There are some integrations, some of them even pretty good ones offered by the vendors themselves, but it’s very hard to get the tools to work in order for the teams to be able to work together. So there’s usually some one-way data syncs available, but if you want the tools to sync up two-way, you need to look for a specialist integration. Building it on your own as a custom integration or using one of the integration platforms out from the list is just one of the options.

Mike: And that’s interesting, you talk about this important difference between a one-way sync and a two-way sync. So in your experience, what do you get from syncing both ways, so to and from the CRM, as opposed to just sending data to the CRM?

Andrus: That depends really on the type of company and how their sales and marketing operations have been set up. Some companies operate years or forever with data in isolation. So the marketing team doesn’t have access to the same data the sales team has. Or only one person maybe in the marketing team has access to the sales data and vice versa. So even thinking one way is a step forward and it helps sales and marketing teams work together better. Marketers and salespeople who are doing the work, they shouldn’t worry about how the tools have been sourced in their company. They should just have access to the data. They need to do their job. They shouldn’t do manual work. And also the leads on the receiving end shouldn’t be receiving messages from a company that are completely irrelevant to what they have purchased or been interested in before.

Mike: I’m interested because, you know, you’ve talked specifically about marketing and sales data. Outfunnel, I guess, is continually developing and it’s already starting to add data from other sources, so obviously form, fill data, but also you’ve even got some ad integration with Facebook. Is that something you see Outfunnel growing into, more of an integration across all sorts of marketing and sales tools?

Andrus: Definitely, I mean, because I think one of the benefits of using a big platform such as HubSpot, who offers both the CRM and marketing automation tool, and also a website CMS tool with forms. One of the major benefits is that all the data is synced up. Salespeople know where a lead has come from, which campaign or source to have they engaged with emails, what emails have they engaged with, et cetera. So clearly there’s good reasons to have all the data synced up in one place. But then the slight, or actually not too slight, downside is that it can cost an arm and a leg. So using a major platform such as HubSpot or Salesforce can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, euros, pounds per month. So as a smart or small business, you want to maybe look for the same benefits, at a lower budget. So using best of breed and nifty tools, and then suiting them up with either custom integrations or something without funding, I think is a great alternative to using one of the major all-in-one platforms.

Mike: That’s interesting. It’s a great point around value as well as what you talked about earlier with maybe sales and marketing want different tools. I’m interested, you know, you’ve got all these integrations, you know, what are the most popular integrations? What are the biggest, you know, connections that you tend to make or your customers tend to make using Outfunnel?

Andrus: So, I think maybe due to my own background and we have some other team members that are Vija alumni. We have a lot of Pipetribe customers as our customers. And then our popular integrations are then connections between Pipetribe and MageImp or Pipetribe and Xavio or Pipetribe and Brevo, formerly Sendinblue. So we’re just linking up CRM and the marketing automation tool so that nobody needs to do manual contacting, import, exporting. And so the email engagement can be linked back to the CRM for the marketing automation tool to offer salespeople more context. So I think these are some of our popular integrations and also similar integrations with HubSpot as the CRM. So I think that, yeah, our bread and butter is linking a CRM and the marketing automation tool. And I would think the second category is just other revenue generating related apps. So calendars among our popular integrations. If you want your Calendly meetings to arrive in your CRM instantly and with all the submitted data coming to the right fields and with the marketing source also attached to the lead, then we can do that for our customers.

Mike: That’s fascinating. I mean, another thing I’d like to understand, you can sync things like history together. There’s a lot of tools that can just bring the basic fields across. But syncing history where you have multiple items for contact is much more difficult. It’s something that’s hard to do, for example, in Zapier. How important is that to get that record of what people have done across from one system to another? Or is it more just making sure that you’ve got the same email address, the same spelling of the first name and things like that?

Andrus: Second, it depends. I think for some use cases, it’s perfectly fine to use something like Zapier. So if you need to submit form submissions from website to CRM, then Zapier can be just fine. But then there’s cases where you’d want to do whole segment-based syncing. So I want to sync maybe customers and leads as a list from the CRM to the marketing tool. And maybe there’s a list of secondary leads or other types of leads that I want to sync from the marketing tool to the CRM. Some of them are new, some of them have some history. And then trigger-based syncing is not enough and you’ll want to use a specialist. solution for that. You could use Outfunnel, you could build it your own, there’s other tools like Outfunnel that help you. Usually I think if there’s a database in CRM and another database in marketing automation tool, you want this synced in a way which is not trigger-based but more holistic and it would include more historical data.

Mike: That makes sense, that makes a lot of sense to give a richer picture. I’m interested as well on the platform. So Outfunnel, we’ve talked a lot about syncing. You also offer other features in Outfunnel. So for example, visitor tracking on websites. Can you talk a little bit about why you’ve chosen to do that in Outfunnel, why that makes sense rather than maybe using a marketing platform that would have that built in?

Andrus: We built it because not all marketing tools have it. So HubSpot had it, and then HubSpot users who use the whole suite don’t need ours or anybody else’s. But if you’re a PipeServe user, for example, or a copy user who uses MailChimp as a marketing automation tool, then MailChimp doesn’t have a website visitor tracking feature. And yet, understanding what leads to on your website and which lead has visited which page is hugely important in understanding how warm a lead is or how self-reliant they are. So we think we picked it because customers were asking for it. And as soon as all the marketing platforms or CRMs have added their own, we’re happy to drop ours because our bread and butter is in taking data between There’s the marketing tools, but in order to offer a holistic solution for a company that you have your CRM data and your email data and your website data and your ads data in one place, then we need to either offer our own website visitor tracking feature or integrate with the tool which offers it.

Mike: That makes a lot of sense. I totally understand that. I’m just changing a little bit in terms of focus here. I’m interested to know how you promote Outfunnel. What works for you? What do you find the best tactics? And marketers are always, I think, interested in knowing what works for other people in other companies.

Andrus: One thing which I think is both a plus and a hindrance is that we tend to, our purchase of decision for something like Outfunnel tends to be very close to purchase decision of a CRM. And then if somebody stops using a CRM, they will also probably stop using something like Outfunnel. So then the communities that CRM companies have built around them are our biggest source of leads. And we just need to be present there, we need to make sure that we have good reviews there. We need to make sure that we are active in the communities which are online and sometimes offline. So that is by far our major source of lead. So we are present on Pytron Marketplace, HubSpot Marketplace, Copper Community and Salesforce we are not that active with yet, but we are definitely be more active with Salesforce in the future as our integration gets more advanced. The other important way for us finding customers and for customers finding us is we’re just findable. I think there’s a category of products which people are not aware of. There you really need to be active in media advertising or social media or PR, but we belong in a category which people tend to know. So if they want to take Pipedrive and MainChimp, they start Googling it. And we just need to be findable. which means that our content at SEO Cave needs to be somewhat strong. We need to buy some ads through the rated keywords. And then we just need to make sure that sites that come up when you search for something like connecting HubSpot and ActiveCampaign feature us, which is a combination of SEO content, some review management, and then working with platforms like AppJarra and whatever sites come up with online searches.

Mike: That’s great. And it’s really interesting how you’re focusing all your SEO around solving problems, you know, you’re not optimizing for your brands. In fact, you’re optimizing for the brands or the vendors that you’re you’re gluing together.

Andrus: Exactly. And then sometimes A PyTorch user may just want to know, how do I get more value out of the CRM that we picked? And then they search for PyTorch integrations or PyTorch tips or PyTorch hacks. And then these are also keywords where we want to be present. This is not our large source of lead, but it’s important enough to warrant some attention and some work from us.

Mike: That absolutely makes sense. I’m interested actually now, we’ve talked a lot about Outfunnel, and you integrate with all sorts of products, from MailChimp up to Salesforce. So who do you think you’re really designed for? Is it designed for a particular size company or people with particular problems? Where do you think you fit in the market? And the question everybody’s wondering as well is, what does it look like in terms of pricing for the products?

Andrus: So I think we are targeting larger, there’s a term which I don’t love, but I use it a lot nevertheless. So SMBs, so small and medium businesses. So we’re targeted at SMBs. Some are solopreneurs, so about 1% each. Some are very large companies, but I think our sweet spot is 10 to 200 people in the company. And then the company would need to have a marketing function or team and a sales function team. If a company only has a sales team, let’s say, I don’t know, if you’re selling to government, you don’t really do much marketing. You don’t need your marketing and sales data to be joined, then there’s less relevance for us. If you work in e-commerce, you’re mostly doing advertising, there’s no sales team. There’s no need for something called funder. There’s no need to unite your data. But yeah, I think companies where The sales team, marketing team, which are medium-sized, and then where sales and marketing need to work together, that’s where usually there’s a bigger data integration need. And then these companies tend to want to sync up their sales and marketing data.

Mike: Perfect. That’s really clear, and I’m sure really helpful for listeners to work out, you know, where you sit in the market. I really appreciate your time, Andrus. I’d just like to ask, there’s a couple of questions we like to ask everybody who guests on the podcast. And the first thing is to know, what’s the best bit of marketing advice you’ve ever been given?

Andrus: That’s a very good question. And I thought about it hard, but then the best advice I’ve given depends on where I’ve been in my career and what stage the company has been. So there’s no, I think there’s no universal advice in marketing other than talk to your customers. Everything else depends on the stage of your company. the budget of your company and then how your customers buy. So I would say talk to customers. They will tell you how they want to buy, which I think is a good guideline for how you should market.

Mike: That’s awesome. That’s actually incredibly good advice. I love that. And the other question we always ask is about people starting off in marketing. So you said it’s important to understand where you are in your career for the best advice. Well, what about someone who’s, you know, maybe just left university is going into their first marketing job? What advice would you give them?

Andrus: I would advise them to not look for advice, but just try it out. So try different marketing roles, try to see where, like, does marketing suit them overall? And if it does, then try to get experience. And then I think the good thing nowadays is it’s easy to get, like, bite-sized jobs, work via freelancing platforms or work on a contract basis. Try to work in B2B, B2C, different areas and see where you connect, where your skills and strengths really shine. And then go all in if you find something where your skills make sense.

Mike: Awesome. That’s really good advice. I think really strong advice for anyone starting their career. Just to summarize, is there anything you feel we’ve missed or how would you like us to remember Outfunnel and what it can do for customers?

Andrus: A good place to start is that do your sales and marketing teams need to work together? If they do, is the data joined together already? If they’re not, starting from data is usually a good place to start because it’s relatively easy and relatively inexpensive. So if the data is not joined, I would stop there. But if the data is already joined, and if the sales and market teams are working off the same data, then you would need to look into areas such as communication or collaboration or joint goals, which are harder to manage. They take longer to solve, but great next things to do after data has been joined up.

Mike: That’s fantastic. I think that’s a really good summary. Thank you so much for your time on the podcast, Andrus. Just one question. If people have something they want to ask you or they’d like to find out more information about the product, what’s the best place to go either to get a hold of you or to learn more about Outfunnel?

Andrus: I am active on LinkedIn. So Outfunnel is easy to find on LinkedIn and my name may be a bit complex to pronounce in English. A-N-D-R-U-S-P-U-R-D-E. But yeah, I’m usually easy to get hold of there. And I’d love to answer any questions relating to B2B marketing or connecting sales and marketing data.

Mike: That’s awesome. That’s very kind. Thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast, Andrus. I really appreciate it. Thank you, Mike. Thanks so much for listening to Marketing B2B Tech. We hope you enjoyed the episode. And if you did, please make sure you subscribe on iTunes or on your favorite podcast application. If you’d like to know more, please visit our website at napierb2b.com or contact me directly on LinkedIn.